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Restaurant sealed for selling ‘carcinogenic’ fast food


FCO sends samples for testing

Food Control Organisation sealed a fast food unit here on Wednesday after raiding its premises and finding the food business operator selling food items prepared with carcinogenic chemical dyes and other banned chemicals.

The raid is the first one after months of hibernation of FCO owing to unrest in Kashmir that kept restaurants closed.

On Saturday, a team of officials from FCO raided the premises of Khosa’s Fast Food, a restaurant located at Sanat Nagar and found banned chemicals being used to prepare food items, a handout by FCO stated. The organization said that the banned chemical that was being used was Carmosine, an artificial red dye known to be carcinogen for humans.

In addition, the restaurant was also using Mono-sodium Glutamate (MSG).

An official of FCO said that while Carmoisine was permitted in very minute quantities in beverages and confectioneries, it was not permitted in non-vegetarian items such as fish and chicken.

“It is banned by FSSAI to be used in processed food items such as chicken, meats and other preparations,” he said.

He also said that MSG was allowed in noodles but it was banned to be used in any food item apart from noodles.

The officials said that food business operators were seen to be using artificial food colors and MSG ‘lavishly’ in all food items exposing public health to unseen dangers.

“These chemicals and many others that we have found food units using over the past few years are known carcinogens,” Hilal A Mir, Assistant Commissioner Food Safety District Srinagar said.

He added that food business operators were being warned about the consequences of using banned chemicals in preparation of edibles.

The officials said that the restaurant was raided after complaints about the food quality were received.

FCO said that samples from the restaurant had also been collected and sent for testing to the Food Lab located in Srinagar.

The weak infrastructure of Food Testing laboratory in Kashmir has been a lacunae for ensuring food safety in the state and a big hurdle in implementation of FSSA 2006, laws that govern the food business in India.

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